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Rising number of GOP lawmakers criticize Trump remarks about minority Dems

A growing number of Republicans are calling out President Trump for his tweet saying that Democratic congresswomen should “go back” to where they came from.

Two Republicans called the remarks racist a day after most in the party were silent about the issue. Another Republican senator called Trump’s tweet “racially offensive.” 

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) described the Trump tweet as “racist and xenophobic.”

{mosads}”I think those are racist and xenophobic, they’re also inaccurate,” Hurd, the only African American House Republican, said of the tweets in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

“The four women he’s referring to are actually citizens of the United States, three of the four were born here,” he said. “It’s also behavior that’s unbecoming of the leader of the free world. You should be talking about things that unite us not divide us.” 

Hurd represents a swing district on the Texas border, and his race next year is considered a toss-up by the Cool Political Report. 

Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) also called the remarks racist.

“I am confident that every Member of Congress is a committed American,” he tweeted. “@realDonaldTrump’s tweets from this weekend were racist and he should apologize. We must work as a country to rise above hate, not enable it.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the only African American Republican senator, called the tweet an “unacceptable personal attack” with “racially offensive language.”

“Instead of sharing how the Democratic Party’s far-left, pro-socialist policies — not to mention the hateful language some of their members have used towards law enforcement and Jews — are wrong for the future of our nation, the president interjected with unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language,” Scott said in a statement. “No matter our political disagreements, aiming for the lowest common denominator will only divide our nation further.”

Other Republicans criticizing Trump stopped short of calling the remarks racist, and instead cast them as unreflective of U.S. values. Many of the critics represent districts that will be Democratic electoral targets next year.

Rep. Pete Olson, who represents a Texas district considered by Cook to lean Republican, said the president’s tweet is “not reflective of the values” of the more than 1 million residents in his district and urged the president to “disavow his comments.”

Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), who is not running for reelection but represents a competitive district, said in a tweet that Trump’s comments “are inappropriate and do not reflect American values.” She said “ALL of our elected officials need to raise their level of civility” to address the nation’s issues.

Rep. Chip Roy (R), who also represents a competitive district in Texas, said Trump was wrong to say that any American citizen has a “home” that isn’t the United States.

But he also criticized the targets of Trump’s tweet, arguing that lawmakers who “refuse to defend America” should be voted out of office next year.. 

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) tweeted that he shares the “political frustrations with some members of the other party, but these comments are beneath leaders.”

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), in a district Cook considers to remain likely Republican, said he is appalled by the Trump’s tweets. He said the “inflammatory rhetoric from both sides” used to divide isn’t “right” or “helpful.”

“The President’s tweets were flat out wrong and uncalled for, and I would encourage my colleagues from both parties to stop talking so much and start governing more,” Upton tweeted.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who is facing reelection in 2020 in a seat Democrats are hoping to flip, said the tweet was “way over the line” and said Trump should “take that down.”

“I disagree strongly with many of the views and comments of some of the far-left members of the House Democratic Caucus – especially when it comes to their views on socialism, their anti-Semitic rhetoric, and their negative comments about law enforcement – but the President’s tweet that some Members of Congress should go back to the ‘places from which they came’ was way over the line, and he should take that down,” Collins said in a statement.

Rep. Bill Huzienga (R-Mich.) said elected officials need to “lead by example” and “end the personal character assassination attacks.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) said she disagrees with the “tactics, policies, and rhetoric of the far-left socialist ‘Squad,’” but said Trump’s tweets were denigrating and wrong.

“It is unacceptable to tell legal U.S. citizens to go back to their home country,” she tweeted.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) rebuked the president’s tweet in a statement, suggesting feuds should focus on policy disagreements.

“Just because the so-called squad constantly insults and attacks the president isn’t a reason to adopt their unacceptable tactics. There is plenty to say about how destructive House Democrats’ policies would be for our economy, our health care system, and our security. I think that’s where the focus should be,” Blunt said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) similarly stated there are “enough challenges” facing lawmakers without “personal, vindictive insults.”

“There is no excuse for the president’s spiteful comments –they were absolutely unacceptable and this needs to stop,” Murkowski tweeted. “We have enough challenges addressing the humanitarian crises both at our borders and around the world. Instead of digging deeper into the mud with personal, vindictive insults –we must demand a higher standard of decorum and decency.”

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said the tweet is “divisive and wrong.”

“I wish the President would talk more about the strong economy that he has helped create, and unite people around that,” he said in a statement.

Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.) did not specifically call out Trump or his Sunday comments, but the conservative tweeted that “racially motivated statements or behavior is totally unacceptable and unbecoming of our great nation.”

Trump’s tweets were aimed at four Democratic lawmakers: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.). 

All four are women of color and U.S. citizens, and only Omar was born outside the United States.

Trump defended his comments on Monday and counterattacked, saying the Democratic congresswomen were radicals and that they should apologize to the country.

“When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said,” he tweeted.

“So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!” he added.

He told reporters Monday afternoon he’s not concerned by those saying his comments are racist.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” he said.

Trump on Sunday said the Democratic women should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” before they criticize the United States.

House Democrats announced plans to hold a vote on a resolution to formally condemn Trump’s remarks, a vote that would put every member of the House on record over the issue.

-Updated 4 p.m.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ayanna Pressley Chip Roy Donald Trump Elise Stefanik Fred Upton Ilhan Omar Lisa Murkowski Lloyd Smucker Mike Turner Paul Mitchell Pete Olson Rashida Tlaib Rob Portman Roy Blunt Susan Brooks Susan Collins Tim Scott Trump Will Hurd
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